Reading the Western Landscape Book Group Nov/Dec 2010

The Reading the Western Landscape Book Group met last week to discuss Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights.  Below is a summary of the questions that were brought up for that book and a preview of the book that will be discussed on December 1.

Previous book selections can be found here and future selections here.
Previous Book
November 2010 – Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights
Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights, by Susan Straight; New York: Hyperion ©1994.  Find it at your local library.
The life of a “straight and narrow” black man, a topic rarely treated in contemporary fiction. The protagonist is Darnell Tucker, a firefighter, and the setting is a racially mixed community in a volatile quarter of Los Angeles. By the author of I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots. From the WorldCat summary.
Susan Straight also has a new book that has just been published called Take One Candle Light a Room.

What was it about “fire.”?  

What was it about the mountains?   

What did the story tell about fathers and sons? Fathers and daughters?  

What did his father do that Roscoe didn't? Or is that too easy?  

How did the parents (including his mother-in-law and grandmother) keep from losing Darnell?  

Why all the lies?  

After Louis was killed why did Darnell want to hear his father's stories?  

Was there really a twin, Antoine?

Next Book

December 2010 – Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work
Discussion on Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work, by Linda Hasselstrom; Reno: University of Nevada Press ©2002.  Find it at your local library.
From Booklist: There are those who would argue that the viewpoints of a rancher and those of a nature lover are incompatible. Hasselstrom would not be among them, for she embraces Nature-with-a-capital-N as her home, her workplace, her inspiration, and her mission. Self-described as a “rancher-slash-writer,” Hasselstrom, in these personal essays, details with pragmatic honesty economic, environmental, educational, and ethical issues confronting today's independent rancher. Beleaguered by the plagues of modern society, ranching is endangered as much by the inflamed rhetoric of ersatz environmental groups as it is by land developers intent on suburbanizing America's open spaces. With impassioned eloquence, Hasselstrom takes on all comers, from animal-rights activists to agribusiness conglomerates and eco-terrorists to militant vegetarians, patiently explaining facts, refuting arguments, defending opposing philosophies in logical, sensible, rational terms. “You don't know what it's like,” she cautions and invites those quick to condemn to walk a mile in her rattlesnake-repelling high-top boots before castigating a way of life on which this country once thrived and must protect in order to do so again. Carol Haggas Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


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